We said in our preview of this game that Duke would have to match Virginia Tech’s passion and intensity and that that wasn’t going to be easy. And as it turned out, Duke couldn’t. But we don’t think any other team in the ACC could have and we’re not sure many teams in the country could have. Because Virginia Tech was stone cold brilliant.
And not least of all Hunter Cattoor.
If you’ve been reading here for a while you know we said he was special the first time we saw him, that he jumped off the TV screen as one of the smartest players we’ve seen in years.
He was well beyond that Saturday night.
No longer a skinny freshman, the 6-4 Cattoor is now powerful and, like the rest of his team, supremely conditioned.
Because Virginia Tech played four games in four days and we can never recall them looking tired for a single minute.
Cattoor had a spectacular game, finishing with 31 points on 11-16 from the floor. Keve Aluma hit 6-8 for 19. As a team, the Hokies hit 10-22 behind the line.
And we should not overlook Storm Murphy. The little guard from Wisconsin, who we don’t think had many big-time offers, has historic wins over UNC at Wofford and now Duke in the ACC finals. When the game ended, Mike Krzyzewski stopped him for a minute and spoke to him. Like everyone, he recognized that Murphy has gone from being an afterthought recruit to a tremendous basketball player.
Murphy, Cattoor, Aluma and Justyn Mutts were all sensational. They’re deserving ACC champions. Unlike a few other teams we can think of, they never showed anything but class and character. Congratulations to the ACC champs.
We hated losing to them but we cannot deny this: that team earned everything it got and is deserving in every way. We’ll pull for them in March as long as we don’t see them again.
And after Saturday night, we’d just as soon not.
- LOST IN NEW YORK: Duke men’s basketball denied ACC tournament championship by Virginia Tech
- Duke loses to Virginia Tech in ACC championship game. Hokies win first league title
- 2022 ACC Tournament: Hunter Cattoor leads Virginia Tech in title game upset over Duke
Player Of The Game vs. Virginia Tech
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